tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS January 13, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition ntr sunday, january 13: the partial governhutdown enters day 23. n d in our signature segment: a community livingth sides of the border grapples with the proposed wall. ne. on pbs newshour weekend s newshour weekend is ma possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. lthe cheryl and pmilstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. erhe j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. wa barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been
provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet stios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank u for joining us. day 23, week four, the partial government shutdown remains in place. no nks are scheduled. congress returns tomorrow. ent trump again started his day tweeting from the white x use about the shut down, after calling in to a show last night and answering questions about a new "washington post" report. the post reported last that president trump went to great lengths to keep details of his meetings with russian president vladimir putin from ministration officials. after a meeting with mr. putin in hamburg in 2017, mr. trump allegedly took the notes from his interpreter and instructed the linguist not to share
details of the meeting. mr. trump dismissed the allegationthat he concealed details of the meeting. >> i'm not kping anything under wraps. i couldn't care less. i meet with putin and they make dea bi. anyone could have listened in on that meeting. the whole russia thing is a hoax. >> sreenivasan:n israel today, fficials confirmed an airstrike on a suspected iranian weapons cache in syria. at a cabinet meeting, prime minister benjamin netanyahu said the friday night bombing was part of a continuing attack on iranian and hezbollah targets in syria. >> ( translated in the last 36 hours the air force attacked iranian warehouses storing iranian weapons at damascus international airport. ls>> sreenivasan: israel asaid that it found a sixth tunnel built by iranian-backed hezbollah guerillas on its border with lebanon for n syria and the region, we're joined now by associated press correspondent sarah el deeb who is based in beirut. thank you f
joining us hear in new york. i want to start with the bigger picture of syria. right now wee are in middle of this, seems to be public policy that's happening in fron of our eyes on how and whether u.s. troops are going to pull out. why is that so queng quengsal. >> this is one of the most complex conflicts in the region stvment conis he quengs because it is the last linik. i everyone is positioning themselves to make it where it counts more nan everyone else. so at the final chapter when the government swing when reush arn and iran is advancing, when turkey is threatening north eastern sir yarks the u.s. is leaving, there must be consequences to th and in the middle of an ambiguous plan-- ambiguous plan for withdrawal, nobo seems to really know. >> sreenivasan: the conflict for the united states seems to be framed around going after the islamic state group. the president declared we have
have h victory, sejly watch. but what are the ripple effects immediately for a very multiparty fight over a specific region? >> let's take it from the ography of the place. desert, this area is one of the chest areas, st green, bed brass ked for the rest of syria, it has water and dams. >> something ty care a &ot about. >> everyone, all the players there, one way or the other, for yoto to be abl negotiate -- syria in syria resource counts. resource and impact will have meaning. and in syria, if the capital at one point was the most signicant seat or fight than they woulde rguobably the uecond most important. the immediate conse is that we have actually seen military-- turkey is sending troops, turkey is a u.s. ally b but it hn a tenuous
relationship. and they don't agree on what to do in northeast syria. and iran and tri government, government and russia have presence in the southeast. so where would they go. would they be ready to rlace the u.s troops if they pull out. it's not just u.s. troops, we have coalition, number of fringe, other members of the coalition present there in that area. but imediately we h a partner, syrians, kurd esch partner that have worked with the u.s. over the years. ey are very shocked and stunned. they were very shocked and stunned byhat decision. they have lost a lot of fighters in that fighomt inrison to what the coalition of the u.s. has lost, is maybe a hundred times more. they will be left out in the co if the u.s. leaves them. they are not, they have children to work with the u.s. for the last four years. >> could they turn around and start working with a russia and sad. >> i think they have taped
deabled. they tried to see what it would mean to work with the syrian vernment and the russia. they never expected the u.s. to forevestay but i think forhe u.s. to announce that they are pulling out when turkey, their most immediate enemy is threatening to take them on and drive them out of that area,th was-- that was a stunner. now they realize the importance of talking to russia bec russia has influence over the syrian government which ultiltely will give them a r in a future syria or protect them if there is no one else to do. so so i think what we find out about what is going to happen in syria is really something we sphiend out as develops on the ground, not what people tell us in the statement or declarations. >> sreenivasan sarah el deeb, thank you for your continuing coverage of it >> sreenivasan: police in austria said today that an avalanchkilled three german skiers and a fourth person is still missing.
bodies of the victims were chcovered last night near a ski resort, but the seor the missing skier had to be called off due to more snow and the risk of another avalanche. alpine regions of europe aren high alert as more heavy snow and freezing temperatures are expected in the coming days. at least 26 weather related deat europe over the past month. the brutal winter storm that killed at least nine people on its deadly path across the central plains and ohio valley battered portions of the mid- atlantic today. hazardous travel warnings were issued for washington d.c., northern virginia, maryland, delaware, and southern new jersey. by the time the storm ends, elve inches.nge ix togion arom a saudi refugee who id she was fleeing from domestic abuse arrived in canada on saturday, where she was granted asylum. read about it at pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: building more walls, fences and barriers on the border with mexico is at the center of the current government shutdown. for the latest on what is happening on theexas border,
reporter julian aguilar of the "texas tribune" joins us now via skype from el paso. just on the border a couple of days ago when the president came to town. and you describe kinroof a scene ofstors and count protestors. but weather people want the wall depends on who you ask. >> that is exactly right. >> we were there for the president's visit, yeah, several hours, before air force one even touched down there were hundreds of protestors lining the street leading upe airport. but sur prietioningly-osurprisingly h for the rio grand valley and the border in general which people assume say democrati stronghold and they do vote that way but there are quite a few ntsupporters of the presind his initiative, answer some helks who say they supported shutdown. that those folks who were out of work, they felt for them but they had to risk the current situation in order to get things done. and in their minds getting
things done was building the wall and keeping with the president's agenda. >> sreenivasan: you have grown up in el paso your whole life reporting on this topic. when it domes down to the people who live next to the wall,t w happens. what is their view on it? is it because they have to deal with the traffic that they td to support a stronger fence or a t ll or barrier? >> well, people to support it, that is what they say. i think a lot of folks that aren't from texas or even aren't from the border in texas don't realize that at least in texas we have 1,54 miles of the border. for example in el paso there has been fencing here for years. there has been the fencing that was constructed after the 2006 secure fence act. and that is just north of the banks of the rio grand. so if is pretty parallel to the way the river run ss andon federal land. but if you go down river in brownsville and hidalgo county,t for example, af this wall that is currently there is half a mile, even a mile north of the river so it cuts right across private land. youne side they say hey,
know what, i'm sick of these people going through my prief v and land, tsing through my farmland. i like the security that theha fenc. and some of them the border wall. but they are outflmed by a lot of folks that think the walls a symbol of, you know, intolerance and hate as we heard several times before. you think some people say is a waste of time, they support border patrol, they want to see more men anwomen on the ground, more technology. and you have the environmentalists who say look, th will disrupt the water flows, wildlife. i say on the whole from what i saw, most peple were against t but still against, be care, there were a lot of people thatt were f president and his agenda. >> sreenivasan: what about mexico and the steps that that country is taking? they have a new president who campaigned ferociously against his predecessor. said that he should be taking a stronger position against president trump and the wall. but now that he is inice, what has happened? p >> you have tsident of mexico who is taking mexico for a policy-- i think a lot of people were surprised that they
agreed that mexico h agreed to this remain in mexico program with respect to immigration an is asyluseekers. and then a few days later there were reports that he did in fact not say that. we is also sn a situation in tijuana where the caravan is there and the mexican governmset s overwhelmed and trying to do what they can. so i think whale we know whaten prestrump says and what he wants to do and what he believes, it's still a little bit of a gray area with respect to our neighbors south of the border. but you are rrect that mr., the president is very much into mexico first and trying tort reas mexico's independence when it comes to a relationship with the united states. but i think this is to be interesting to see what he pulls with the new trade deal a wha happens with respect to the wall. >> julianing a we lar, thanks so much-- aguilar, thanks so much. >> appreate itthanks for having me. >> sreenivasan: when president trump visited texas and the
u.s.-mexico border last week he continued to double down on his campaign promise to erect a wall along the border. funding for the wall has divided te administration and lawmakers and has driven a partial government shutdown into itsth foeek. but the wall proposal has also divided a different nathe tohono o'odham nation in arizona: a native american tribe whose territory straddles the border in both mexico and e u.s. and has existed long before either country was on the map. newshour weekend special correspondent christopher livesay has the story. >> reporter: the arizona desert rg a breathtaking, albeit uning environment. the state shares nearly 400 miles of border with mexo and much of the area is inhabited by e. ancient, and little-known native american tr as the national battle over a forder wall continues, if plans a wall do get approved, it will have to get through the tohono o'odham nation, and their land it's an area roughly the size of the state of connecticut that includes more than 60 miles of the u.s./mexico border.
verlon jose is the vice chairman of the tohono o'odham nation. >> to put a border wall here it would be detrimental to our people. ould have a psychologica effect. you would have an emotional effect. i think you uldn't like it if i dug a wall right through your home. this is our traditional homelands. >> reporter: like most native american tribes, the to'ono ham are u.s. citizens with a self-governed reservation. but unlike most tribes, it has members living in both the u.s. and mexico. according to tribal administration, roughly 32,000 live in the u.s., and 2,000 live in mexico. >> we've never crossed the bd order; the border cros. we see just another obstacle in our path to go visit family, to go visit friends, to go to sacred sites in mexico. we feel betrayed yeck for 160 ars when this international boundary was created, without any consent or any discussion.
>> reporter: he's referring to the gadsden purchase of 1854, and an agreement between the u.s. and mexico over where to draw the border: right through tohono o'odham land. >> you have to understand the history of indigenous people in this country. >> reporter: april ignacio is a single mother of five who lives on the u.s. side. she says the wall would inteofrrupt the free-flo wildlife, as well as disrupt sacred native rituals celebrating their communid. with the l ignacio also points out that her tribe already compromised when the u.s. government built a fence otheir land. nd she says that's more than enough. >> you've taken thakland. you've the majority of the water and our resources and the minerals. what more do, what more do indian tribes have to compromise? >>or repr: unlike their ancestors, the tohono o'odham of today can no longer cross the border wherever they please. they have to go through specific entry points.
the tohono o'odham are the only seople who can cross through gates such as tn the mexico/u.s. border, but some bor tder patrol st members of the tohono o'odham nation are abusing that privilege and making big money for the mexican drug cartels in the process. >> i've been working out here for a long time. and we've arrested a lot of individuals on the reservation that have been involved in smuggling. >> reporter: art del cueto is the vice president of the ornationalr patrol union, and an agent himself, patrolling tohono o'odham land. del cueto says some tribal members ha been convicted for running drugs. it's a lucrative business, made even more attractive because of the high rates a unemployment nd poverty on the reservation. del cueto says tribal leadership costuld do more to hel the smuggling. >> i don't think they're doing enough. i think they're obviously aware that there's people that live on the nation that smuggle drugs. >> reporter: some illegal drug traffic occurs in plike this, outside official border ports of entry. the tucson area, which includes
the tohono o'odham nation, accots for nearly 60% of tha kind of drug traffic. r, that's not where most illegal drugs are confiscated. a recent drug enrcement agency report said most drugs are found in vehicles attempting tdrive through official u.s. ports of entry. however, many people we spok with, including april ignacio, think focusing on how drugs enter ountry is not addressing the real problem. >> i live on t nation and we are put in the middle of the united states thirst for drugs. building a wall will not stop drugs fromg. the only thing that's going to stop drugs from coming across is deing with the drug epidem here in the country. >> reporter: we drove hundreds of miles along t border during our visi and the physical barriers varied depending on where we were. some parts look like this. others sections, look like this. and in some cases, no barrier at all.
del cueto took us to a section of the border where the existing barricade abruptly ends. he says this makes his job, curing the international border between the u.s. and mexico, nearly impossible. >> when you look down here, and yondsee these types of gaps, this area where the wall just ends, but the country doesn't end. we need some type of security. >> reporter: a lack of barrier can be due to topography, when a natural boundary like this mountain peak has been deemed sufficient, but a lack of border funding also to blame, according to del cueto. >> and we're eremely grateful to president trump and we fully support what he is doingo take care of our nation's borders to take care of the future of this united states. >> reporter: he's an outspoken advocate of the border w here he is speaking beside president trump at the white house. del cueto, an american citizen born in mexico, came to the u.s. legally when he was four years old. like the rest of his border patrol colleagues, del cueto isn't getting a paycheck bcause of the government shutdown.
however, he says he's willing to wy ork without it will help get the wall built. >> they want to blame president trump for the shutdown. wsee don't it that way. we see it as we want border security. that's all we're asking. >> reporter: we drove to the far northern end of the tohono o'odham territory, some 100 miles fm mexico. it borders on pinal county, arizona, where lieutenant chris lapre heads the anti-smuggling unit at the sheriff's office. as a ate officer, he has limited jurisdiction south of here on tribal land. he saleys this arker, number 158 off of interstate 8, is a drop-off point ju outside tribal land, where traffickers from mexico hand off drugs to be distributed in the u.s. when we rrive, lapre spots water bottles and what are known as "sneaky feet," carpet-soled shoes that don't leave footprints. >> so this tells me that these are, these guys might have been packindo because the blankets are all the same. so usually with immigrants that
come across, you get personal items, clotving that's inual or unique to the individual. and here we have a groupf stuff that's uniform. >> reporter: it's all uniform, as if it were a standard issue. that's really interesting. >>thhe backpacks are all same. >> reporter: so you and your department, you're really the last line of defense. >> yes.>> eporter: so brazen are the mexican drug cartels, lapre says th even have their own religious shrine, right here in arizona. have you ever seen this lit up? >> yes, i have. quite a few times. it's either lit or not. depending on which one is, going on is depending if the smugglers know we're in the area or if we're not in the area. >> reporter: so they're sending a signal. this is a lighthouse effectively. >> e xactly. >> reporter: why don't you take it down? >> well number one it's on the reservation. so we're actually, we would be considered trespassing and it's actually a crime because it's reservation land. number two, certain things that
it represents allows us law enforcement intelligence. >> reporter: so it's useful to you in a way. >> yes, absolutely. >> reporter: lapre says a wall would help control the tribal area he has little jurisdiction over. it's an opinion shared by trump supporters who live near the border, like jim boaz. >> it's time to do something and get serious about it. friends of mine that live along that border, ranchers, that have had the illegal problem for years. reporter: according to customs and border protection, the number of undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border has actually been dropping for years. it's gone from 1.6 million people in the early 2000s, to roughly 300,000 in 2017. even so, everyone we spoke to agrees the border needs to be controlled, some just think there are better ways than building a wall. >> if you go to the expense to build something fixed, that's that permanent, they're innofivative, they'l a way around it. either under it, or over it. so, that's not the answer.>> eporter: rodney irby is the
assistant chief of police in the tohono o'odham nation. there should be a concentrated effort on addressing any threats that a border might pose, but i think it needs to be a reasonable and modern approach to it. maybe a 21st century approach. >> reporter: irby points to technologlike sensors and rveillance towers as better alternatives to a wall. >> there is technology, there's planson on the naor technology, integrated fixed towers, and those have proven effecty ive, because tll detect ultralight aircraft, if they were to fly over the border. >> reporter: even without a wall, there's already palpable tension between border patrol and the tohono o'odham people. >> i would compare the border patrol to the gestapo. >> reporter: francisco valenzuela is a memb of the tohono o'odham tribe and a rancher. he says he's been harassedby repeatedlorder patrol agents. >> every time i come down here i experience something. >> reporter: like what? >> well, literally being stopped and being searched.
point the guns at you. your hands up. >> reporter: so you've had guns drawn at you? >> ohit yeah, definy. >> reporter: tribe members say harassment from border patrol agentss routine. april ignacio recounts her experience. >> you know, living in the united states and having to go checkpoints or wonderin if this border patrol agent who's pulling you over is going to cut you out of your seatbelt or if you're going to be okay. it's a type of psychological emotional trauma that we're dealing with th no one's talking about. >> reporter: what everyone is talking about is the political standoff over a border wall. but for verlon jose and his tribe, it's more than just political. >> it makes me feel that abmeone will knife and cut across my heart. it onis my rebility to protect this and make sure that a wall s not built on the tohono o'odham natio
>> this is pbs newshour weekend, sunday. >> sreenivasan: in utica new york, one quarter of the population is made up of refugees who over time have helped stabilize and grow fledgling economy. tomorrow, new american economy, a bipartisan immigration refora group and of films debut the story of mahira, whose war andled the bosni friound the amecan dream. >> from middle school i already hadanlans on what i wd to do, go to college, finish a four year degree, finish a masters anget a ph.d. i started working in a part-time job when i was 14 and going to school. up to now i have kept that jb through everything. d i ended up getting a full-time job at the county once i finished pie bachelors. >> my chf of staff and i did the intervy and within, i want to say probably 15 minutes we e looked ah and said i don't think we havooto lk any
further. >> i think io has tbe stamped. >> her willingness to learn more,er her am big big and fearlessness stood out. o> i guess it comes to the eyes of those who come america, see the opportunity it is something we teed to take a look at because the opportunity lies in front of us. >> i'm doing my masters in economic crime and fraud. it is very important for me to know that we are not what the media portrays us to be. that is very important, that is why take this route. ness i don't see myself as age refue. it is weird to say. i see myself as a regular american now. as the years progressed i understand why my parents did it remember i do in life, which god knows, who it night end up doi t i wantmake sure where i amng ma positive impact.
i know one person can't chain the world but oneon persan make the world a better place. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, the professional football season is wrapping up it's playoffs and championships this month, but there was the beginning of a new era on the field today. sarah thomas became the first woman to officiate in the n.f.l. playoffs during the patriots- chargers game. ouit's not her first game . she became the n.f.l.'s first full-time female referee back in 2015. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. ve a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet ptioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
possible by: waernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgaenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundatn. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- dgning customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement comny. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers le you. thank you.
hello. i'm greg sherwood. and here in northern california we're used to emergencies or every kind. in recent years we've dealt with severe drought and massive fires and we've learned the painful but necessary lessons about howe tore. but we all know another emergency is coming because major eartuakes that can strike at any time are central to our history. we allnow another one will hit, and over the next half hour we're gointo look at the latest science and explain how you can be proactive and protect yourselfnd your loved ones. r first guest in a fewing with moments, but first we'd like to invite you to support kqed and take a big step in your emergency planning at the same time. rw, we've got two levels you to consider. so take a look and then make age plt kqed.org/donate or give us a call at 1-800-568-9999.